From leafy greens to cauliflower, it’s time to think about what to veggies to plant in your fall garden.
Cool-season plants, meaning those that tolerate a light frost, thrive in short daylight hours and even taste better when grown in cooler temperatures, and are best started as seedlings rather than sown directly in the ground.
Simply plug seedlings into any open space in the late summer garden — they will benefit from the shade of summer crops while the weather is still hot — and watch them grow.
Once daytime temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, cut summer crops back to the ground to let fall crops receive full sun.
7 Crops to Plant in Your Fall Vegetable Garden:
1. Brussels Sprouts
Exposure to frost actually improves the flavor of Brussels sprouts. ‘Diablo’ and ‘Dimitri’ varieties are best for late-season gardening and take about three months for sprouts to appear. Harvest when firm and green. Brussels sprouts mature in 90 days.
Cabbages are heavy feeders that require healthy soil and regular watering. Early varieties include ‘Stonehead,’ ‘Dakri’ and ‘Golden Acre.’ Plant seedlings six to eight weeks before the first frost. Cabbage matures in 70 to 95 days depending on variety.
Early varieties such as ‘China Rose’ and ‘Daikon’ grow quickly, so make sure to check regularly. Sow six weeks before the first frost. Harvest before the root is 1 inch in diameter. Radishes mature in 25 to 50 days depending on variety.
This plant produces bigger and better-tasting crops when grown in cool weather. Plant 10 weeks before the first frost. Help keep the ground cool and moist by mulching around seedlings. Feed three weeks after transplanting with an organic, low-nitrogen fertilizer. Broccoli matures in 80 days.
Carrots are easy to grow and tolerate light frost. Fast-growing ‘Primo’ matures in about 60 days. If temperatures turn cold early, baby carrots can be harvested and enjoyed even if they’re not fully mature. Carrots mature in 60 to 80 days depending on variety.
6. Snow Peas
Appropriately named, snow peas grow best in cool temperatures. They like moist soil, so water regularly. Choose seedlings of early varieties such as ‘Short N’ Sweet’ or ‘Dwarf White Sugar.’ Harvest when the pods are a few inches long with peas that aren’t fully developed. Snow peas mature in 50 to 75 days depending on variety.
7. Kale and Other Leafy Greens
As decorative as it is delicious, the frilly leaves are a pretty addition to fall gardens — and leafy greens taste even better after a frost. Sow seeds of early varieties such as ‘Red Russian’ and ‘Winterbor’ directly into the soil. Baby leaves can be harvested as early as 30 days for smoothies and salads. Kale matures in 70 days.
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